"Another work may have attempted to conquer the warehouse, to resist being swallowed by its magnitude; worse, another work may have ignored it entirely, creating a piece that needed four walls and a floor and nothing more. Yet here, Lawrence’s work communes directly with the space; its strength arises from its acknowledgement of both the physical and energetic states present. JUNKSPACE moves deftly about the building with deference to and camaraderie with the warehouse; all that it once contained and all it has yet to."
- from the article Tilting Space in an Abandoned Warehouse: Tori Lawrence + Co., published on thINKingDANCE
"Still, they were not yet living in the movement. They had control over the shapes their bodies made, but were still so focused on those shapes that they didn’t yet dance with assuredness or depth. It’s a subtle thing. I don’t see this as a shortcoming of their prowess as dancers; this is not something you train into. Sense of self comes only with time."
"To my admittedly untrained eye, the flamenco presented a variety of dualities for the dancers to wield at whim: strong and soft, swift and slinking, vulnerable and voracious. The slower moments in the series of duets and trios that followed were not moments of pause or rest but felt weighted with tension and anticipation, like the slow ascent up the slope of a rollercoaster."
"The combination of the intimate, in-the-round theater and Kesserack’s benevolent delivery of Wilson’s powerful truths permits audience members to engage audibly with the work in a manner that resembles call and response. Folks giggle and guffaw, vigorously nod, let out audible ‘mmhmms’ and ‘yeahs.’ The fourth wall is porous. The space feels comfortable, somewhere between presentation and sermon."
- from the article “An Everyday Man’s Prophet:” August Wilson at the Arden, published on thINKingDANCE
"Writing about four duets by people who have known each other for about a week feels like putting up scaffolding and calling it home. But Mira Treatman’s construction process in her Philly Theatre Week rendition of Duets by Strangers might be just as fruitful to watch as a finished product."
"I accept that Graham's works may not stand the Bechdel Test of time when under the contemporary feminist lens, and perhaps in their historical context they may have been considered more groundbreaking. Yet, I still take issue with this modern staging. Although Diversion of Angels begins and ends with Ben Schultz holding his hand behind Natasha M. Diamond-Walker's head, as if coronating a regal woman with a crown, it is ultimately still the man's hand."
"It was an oddly hilarious sight. The gravity of it, the seriousness, the ceremony of it all, contrasted with something I’d written — the loss of one of my favorite pairs of jeans. It felt silly, this meeting of the sacred and the mundane, and that remained a common theme throughout Canuso’s work, which made up the majority of the evening."
"Indeed, when the piece finds moments of pause, they are breathtaking. The entire group sits on the floor, just past the pillar in the middle of Mascher’s space, lifting up and gently passing along a procumbent Svoboda. Grieger and Vawter, towards the end of a duet, sit on their knees and observe the musicians for a few seconds, maybe a minute, before drifting offstage in conclusion of the work."
- from the article Coalescing in Context: Movement Sound Experiment at Mascher, published on thINKingDANCE
"Evenings like fidget’s Process Project make me believe that the real innovation, the coming-up-to-the-edge experimentation in postmodern dance, is not happening on stage in theaters but in the quiet corners of Philadelphia."
"I don’t need to see Jessica Lang Dance because I’ve seen the glossing over of complexity and the harshness of reality in contemporary dance all too often. Despite numerous awards and accolades, including a Bessie Award and commissions from Jacob’s Pillow and The Joyce Theater, I found the work to be pre-digested to the point of blandness and baldly obvious."
"I found the moments of synchronicity and pattern a respite amidst the frenzy. In one such moment, performer Curt Haworth lay on his back with his legs bent, kicking off the floor and waving through his spine, legs landing on the hardwood in a thump that fell into sync with other dancers’ insistent drum beats. Later, the performers left the stage after piling disparate items onto an air mattress, leaving us to take in the concocted tableau, minus moving bodies."
"To move and create sound with an ensemble, to improvise with the collective intention of composing, is to place oneself in the midst of opposing forces, holding both with equality. There is no practice to perform; the practice is the thing. "
"Trevor William Fayle’s Blake pads lightly around the stage with the timidity of a bunny; his gestures are soft, yet quick. When Jess finally convinces Blake to show her his scars from that night and make out with her during a swirling thunderstorm on the same golf course where the original event occurred, I find myself cringing at the thought of Blake’s internal experience at that moment (indeed, we never find out what that was). Yet, I’m unclear whether I was supposed to read that pivotal moment as deeply irresponsible towards the young man’s state of mind or as a grand romantic gesture."
"Can an artistic body of work stand on its own, independent of the creator? And, if not, whom do we rely on for the distinction between art and artist? If the artist insists the work is apolitical, yet critics (and thereafter, history) remember it as a work of activism, which is it?"
- from the article When activism is involuntary: a conversation between Deanna Haggag and Bill T. Jones, published on thINKingDANCE
"Huot’s work is chest-heavingly honest; she steadies a leg that trembles as she dances, then the other, then a hand. The movement is lyrical and sweet, and her lavender skirt billows around her and across her shins, as she rolls down to the floor and swings a leg to the side."
"As Allen’s title suggests, and without giving too much away, the perception of events and responses as separate instances may be inadequate. There is no beginning or end; there is only a dancer moving another along and the way two bodies fit together when one sits on the other’s knee, side by side."
"The power in Portraits does not lie in the moments of visual symmetry between the dancers and the art works. Stein’s choreography is more intelligent than merely arranging the bodies in the same way they are painted on display. Rather, I find deep complexity in their journey to such synchronicity, if it is even reached at all."
"One movement leads directly into the next without a seam, perfectly placed so a leg swinging around means being where a head lands, and where the body curls to be trundled onto a lap, and where one thing is another is another is another."
"Thomas Choinacky is lanky as hell and I love the gawky intricacies of his movement; he stands, for example, with his hands positioned on his hips as if they were stuffed in pockets, but instead are merely lain atop his pants. I sense that kind of ‘heldness’ in his body that people get when they know they are being watched, and it’s not bad. It’s just honest. He’s looked each of us in the eye, after all."
- from the article The Embodied Blueprints, Or How Time and Space Are Malleable If You Make Them, published on thINKingDANCE
"The very second the dance ends, the exact moment the last of the trio leaves, my fellow spectators swarm the room, frenzied in what felt to me like an attempt to clear the unsettled energy, to dissipate the weight."
- from the article Giving Form to the Invisible: Graffito Works at PAFA, published on thINKingDANCE
"The transitions between scenes are thick and viscous, like molasses dripping down an hourglass. I am totally aware when the dance is passing through one; they feel slow and nurtured and unhurried. It is a dance of mild idiosyncrasy, enhanced by the dancers’ subtle balance between logicality and lunacy.."
"Stoyanova is pulling on flesh-colored tights over her legs and her head, blurring the lines of her pubic hair and breasts. After wading into the pool of Mylar with tender ease, she grabs several handfuls and stuffs them madly under her “skin.” The first few, balled up and packed together, form pregnant-looking polyps on her arms and legs. Others hang off of her body like layers of tulle or scales. Stoyanova looks like a neo-metal monster and a futuristic Renaissance queen at the same time."
- from the article The Madonna Resilient, published on thINKingDANCE
"I've been having the 'money talk' with many different people in my life for a while now. I've asked my friends how they make ends meet without selling their souls. I've asked them what they do to make a livable amount, yet have enough 'free time' for rehearsals, projects, workshops, etc. I've asked them how they do their taxes."
"I went home and shaved my legs. I'm not sure what that means yet."
- from the review My body, and other questions I had for Annie Wilson, published on thINKingDANCE